A magnificent setting in the Black Mountains ..... this AND a concert on the green all in one setting was a perfect last night.
Franky Baby is so sweet that those Mountain Mosquitoes can't stay away from him. I would say he IS NOT A HAPPY CAMPER.
A real sport though .... herbal remedy - VINEGAR - keeping the swelling and sting down, BUT it sure does STINK up the house.
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Tonight, with the Full Moon - all my stones, rocks, and gems will be getting a Moon Bath. They will be cleared and charged and ready for travel back to Florida. These were really my favorite things!
A small Full Moon Ritual since we will be on the road tomorrow and I want to clear everything before we store it away.
Here is a little Full Moon Ritual for you too.
Setting out to take in a few last sights before leaving Asheville .... with Black Mountain just 3 miles up the road .. we revisited the area (had gone last year also) .... and just strolled around town. It worked out marvelously .... I scored a one of a kind mountain design ring .... carved silver with mountain sunrise and stars...so pretty and even met the designer - Roberto. An adorable little shop in Black Mountain called Visions of Creations.
Up here in the mountains, not everyone has a pool like in Florida -- so, the local community pool is VERY popular.
Before we left we happened into a little shop that had a flier on the door promoting the big Lake Tomahawk Blues Festival tonight -- so, we headed home for a nap and some creek digging. Then heading back up tonight for the concert. Couldn't have been a better happening.
We drove around LAKE TOMAHAWK to see where the concert will be tonight .... perched up on the hilll on a winding road through a tight neighborhood of amazing homes, sits this wonderful lake.
Really wanted to spend some time with my hands in the Earth of the Mother .... feeling her cool waters and muddy rocks ... tumbling like silk down and over the passageways made by natural movement. I scored a few special rocks and then set them out to dry.
The Highlight of my day yesterday, was a quick run to the Gem Show in Spruce Pine, NC - about an hour from Asheville. It poured rain on the way, and I was feeling disappointed. When we got there -- wow -- so many rocks, stones, jewelry items, and more. I was in a daze and didn't even try to get anything with a big price tag on it, but sure did enjoy picking up a few items for friends and for my events and workshops. My Rose Quartz Bowl is the shining light!
There is another Gem Show today, and now that I have gotten my FEET WET, I might just dash back over there :)!!!! We shall see.
Our Heart-Shaped journey turned into sort of 'the head and front foot of a dog,' since we dropped Nashville/Knoxville from our trip. Ready to get back to the Hacienda for a while and head out again in the future. Goodness knows, my hair and nails need attention, so time to return and touch base again and give HITCH a rest.
In the meantime, we are attempting to enjoy Asheville. Since it was the home of my parents for so many years, I feel a bit like I am betraying them when I come up here and don't see them too. The places I used to love are full of their memories and it is difficult to keep flashing back. So this time, no visits to the Old House, the City Hall where my dad's exhibit is, no visiting Old Friends ... just staying on the outskirts most of the time and visiting a gem show here and there.
We are washing and cleaning up today and heading to Atlanta tomorrow as the final leg before heading home.
It has been wonderful.
We've really enjoyed the KOA Kampground in E. Asheville -- a gorgeous creek runs through it -- that amazingly changes depth just with an afternoon rain. I can't imagine what melting mountain snow or days of rain would do. The banks are high all around it, but I bet it rages. Here are some before and after shots with just a small afternoon rain.
BEFORE - rocks are well above the water line
AFTER - rocks are completely submerged ...
Think we will leave before the RAINS.
See you in Atlanta!
Hungry for social connection and a connection to home ... I was on it, when Jean Wanta suggested I head to Terra Nova since we were so close in the Asheville area.
Terra Nova? What's that? Oh, the retreat center in the mountains that all my friends have been going to and loving. Well, let's see what it's all about. Ready, Frank .. yep, he's ready. We are off an running!
(By the way, just click the photo for a flash of details or to enlarge the photo)
I have to admit, I may have turned around had it not been for trusty Franky Baby and Henry (our 4x4 truck) .... going up winding, unpaved roads is not my idea of a fun trip. Brings up memories of being a little girl and having to go on these crazy Sunday drives in the mountains with my dad, while I was car sick in the back seat. Oh, well, get over it, Marilyn.
Hover or click image.
SO WORTH IT!!!! Not only did it also go right by Frank's grandfather's farm from years and years ago ... (another childhood memory) - but when it opened up on to the beautiful meadow, lake, and spacious grounds, we were so delighted to have made the trek. More was to come.
Patty Young met us with bouncing Hello's and warm smiles. She was excited to take us on her 'Wild Ride' through the very rough terrain so we could see all the special areas and trails for visitors to enjoy. We saw the Labyrinth (a story all in itself), the Sweat Lodge area, the BonFire Camping area, the Road to Life Lessons, Angel Garden, and so much more. We held on tightly and squealed (I did anyway) with delight as Patty chatted and drove 'The Mule' (actually a tough golf cart) through the woods. Truly an earthy experience offered up by Mother Earth herself.
My favorite place, other than the Labyrinth, the Angel Garden, the Sweat Lodge, etc., was The Chapel in the Sky. Wow, the energy and sacredness encircled us as we chatted and discussed the many possibilities for events, workshops, classes, and/or personal retreats.
My concern about Frank not being interested was quickly dismissed as he and Patty got along famously, and she even had him helping her empty The Mule with working tools for the day. He was completely enthralled by our magical tour guide -- Miss Patty.
It was very hard to say good-bye and have such a short visit, but Patty had Pepper to care for; Thunder to prepare for; and her vision to embrace. That's when she told us the 'short' way back down the mountain :)!!! Quite a sense of humor! Ha Ha.
Until we meet again ... Aho!
Leg After Leg After Leg!
Will this ever end ..? I'm Jones-ing for 'Home' and Frank is loving every minute. He is Free - Retirement is full throttle. I am captive, Travel is limiting. So different, yet so similar.
We ARE having a great time, truly. But, I'm finding that I really miss community. In the meantime, we have seen so many cool things, people, and places. We find that we are all the same at the core, yet live differently with different priorities. Such an interesting journey.
We spent two days of visits to the Blue Ridge Parkway Music Center. How could we pass up this opportunity to hear some of the best Appalachian Music (and, yes! it is different than Blue Grass) ... we were in the Appalachians ... let's do it!
Just hover over the photos for a detail and then click and arrow scroll!
With several days pretty open to see the town, we decided to walk around Main Street and see what's up....
some historic buildings, some historic HOT DOG cafes - SKEETERS, and ridiculously famous BOLING WILSON HOTEL right on Main and 'must be family' name. We couldn't resist going inside and found a very state of the art - Contemporary Design Hotel and Restaurant, with a Lookout Rooftop and amazing lobby, bar, restaurant AND FOOD! We, of course, made a reservation and continued plodding around town.
And, we lucked up to see a beautiful sunset from the rooftop! Facebook has us, but here we are again!
Many of these preserved houses here were once Boarding Houses, turned to School Houses, turned to Hotels, and turned into residences in the Historic District. Really interesting history in these parts.
Heck, by then it was afternoon - AND where to you go at 5 o'clock? Yes, A WINERY! We tracked down the closest winery, West Wind Farm & Winery, -- which was perfection and rated #6 of 252 wineries in VA -- and bought a case of wine and enjoyed the afternoon. I had no idea Virginia was a Winery State ... grapes everywhere! Wine everywhere!
Arrived in the afternoon on this 17th day of traveling, so we decided to go to the 'highest' point and then work our way back down. 'Highest' Point is an understatement. Although the location at Big Walker Lookout is only 3405 ft. elevation -- the Tower that is there for a SCENIC LOOKOUT - is about 15 stories straight up on a metal stairway in the sky.
Metal Stairway in the Sky
In these parts (as they say) of Virginia, they take pride in keeping the historic flair and the architecture of days gone by. They are proud of their roots and their city -- and we understand why. Great people, beautiful buildings, exceptional variety of things to do in the surrounding area, and more. Truly a large and quaint town in the mountains. WYTHEVILLE -- pronounced 'with-ville.'
Weaving down another back road in the mountains, I suddenly realized that GREEN is the prevailing color. Now, grant you, it is Summer -- so no colored Fall leaves ..... and the color GREEN is so strong, that I am almost begging to see beige sand and white caps on an ocean of deep blue.
Agreed, the BLUE sky as the backdrop for these magnificent trees and foliage IS Mother Nature's way of pleasing the eyes with soothing color, but I'm ready for something a little different soon.